Writing and collaborating on GitHub, a primer for paleoecologists

At this point I’ve written a hundred times about the supplement for Goring et al., (2013), but just in case you haven’t heard it:

Goring et al., (2013) uses a large vegetation dataset to test whether or not pollen richness is related to plant richness at a regional scale.  Because of the nature of the data and analysis, and because I do all of my work (or most of it) using R, I thought it would be a good idea to produce totally reproducible research.  To achieve this I included a version of the paper, written using RMarkdown, as a supplement to the paper.  In addition to this, I posted the supplement to GitHub so that people who were interested in looking at the code more deeply could create their own versions of the data and could use the strengths of the GitHub platform to help them write their own code, or do similar analyses.

This is a basic how-to to get you started writing your paper using RMarkdown, RStudio and GitHub (EDIT: if some of these instructions don’t work let me know and I’ll fix them immediately):

Continue reading Writing and collaborating on GitHub, a primer for paleoecologists

On blogging and collaboration

We’ve submitted a paper to Frontiers of Ecology and the Environment that deals with the art of collaboration in large-scale ecological research.  It’s in review at the moment, so I’m not going to talk too much about it, except in setting up my discussion here.

Jacquelyn Gill has a new post up that talks about the roles of writing, blogging, getting papers out and submitting grant proposals.  One comment she includes is that she has received advice indicating that when push comes to shove, blog posts don’t count toward tenure.  It’s an interesting comment, on one that I suspect comes from someone who doesn’t blog.  While I agree that blogging isn’t going to matter much as far as a direct benefit, I think it plays a strong role in fostering collaboration. Continue reading On blogging and collaboration